Thursday, February 26, 2015

If I weren't an artist, I'd never to speak to one again.








If I weren't an artist, I'd never to speak to one again. It was a long time ago that I said that. I was the president of a huge art gallery in Scottsdale AZ, the art director and the art installer. ( I finally did get an intern to help with the installations)

Almost everyday artists would contact me to look at their work and I reviewed portfolios every other Wednesday.

One afternoon, while I was mounting an exhibition for a upcoming show, a person came into the gallery and asked me to come out to his car to look at his art. Obviously he was not a professional. He could see that I was busy. I suggested that he leave his portfolio and I would take a look at it. He said, "Oh, I don't have a portfolio, just come out to the car." Needles to say, I didn't.

Other artists would stall at giving me their statements, and I would spend too many hours helping them and explaining that art is a business like almost any other. Most of this fell on deaf ears and the usual answer was, " I am an artist, I can't spend time on the business end."

That was when I became frustrated with the spoiled brat attitude I felt all around me, and started saying, If I weren't an artist, I'd never to speak to one again.

I went on to establish a non-profit organization in Arizona to teach artists the business of art, and taught Art Marketing at Southern Oregon University when I moved to Oregon.  It still was difficult to get the artists to attend the meetings, but the ones that put in the time saw results.

Things are different now. Art marketing has changed drastically because of the Internet. All the things I taught are out-dated, and now I am studying online marketing; because I know that being a professional artist requires marketing knowledge.

While still part of the Arizona gallery, I also was a professional art installer in model homes, restaurants and businesses. It paid well, and I loved doing it.

Here are some suggestions for placing art in a home.
Styles of art do not have to be the same. Remember darker colors have more visual weight. Everything around the art should be considered in the placement, as if you were creating a still life.


Art on a table with other collected treasures

Styles do not have to match. Shapes are important

In a fireplace

Painting and sculpture mated

Over a stove. This is an encaustic painting and can be wiped off. We don't fry foods.

combine photos and a painting in a bedroom

paintings in box frames on a bathroom sink. Water splashes won't hurt encaustic

A quiet spot in a bedroom
china cabinet, with art

Friday, February 20, 2015

Artists Helping Artists

San Miguel de Allende is a special place for artists, and independent women. We support and help each other whenever possible.

I had the pleasure of helping a long time friend, Agnes Olive, with her studio sale. The rent had been doubled and she felt it was time to clear the space and see what the future will hold.

Of course the studio was packed with art and craft supplies that had been accumulated over many years and it took several days just to get everything out and placed on tables and prices. We had some laughs since our art is very different, She is a assemblage artist and I am a painter, and I questioned what some of her stuff was.

She also brought in many of her works having decided to offer an art sale as well as selling the supplies.

Six of her friends helped with the sale for 2 days. And I got first choice on one of her pieces ( because I was there before the doors opened.) Crowds came and many were fortunate enough to buy her original works at a once in a life time price.
Bathrooms need art also.

I am thrilled to have it home and hung it in the guest bathroom where it joins other art.
"The Nat Spirit of Myanmar," Agnes Olive. www.agnesolive.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My website, a work in progess

I started building my new website in November and thought it was pretty much finished. It seems each time I go back, I find more things to be added or edited.

We have had 2 cool (cold for my body) and rainy days. I know, I know I should not even mention my discomfort when the east coast of the U.S. is having unprecedented snow and cold. I check the daily weather reports for San Miguel everyday hoping to see that we soon will have sunny warm days again. O.K., next week. In the meantime, since almost all the homes here do not have central heating, I am sitting at my desk, wearing 4 layers of warm clothes and working on the website again. Please check it out: http://www.ezshwan.com, and let me know what you think.

I am planning on offering special sales, or a drawing for a painting to one or two people who will sign up to be on my mailing list and  news letter. If you would like sign up, please go to my fan page on Facebook and click on email sign up on the left side of the page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ezshwans-encaustic-paintings/132813546782502.

In the meantime here is a photo of me when the sun was out, during the Day Of The Dead celebration.





Monday, February 9, 2015

Blame it on Mercury Retrograde!

I believe that I am  a ridiculously organized person. I have been a professional artist for more years than most people have been alive. I have owned art galleries and mounted many shows, but yesterday I really blew it.

For two years I have supported the Children's Art Foundation in San Miguel, by contributing a painting for their art auction. It is the only organization that I now support by offering my art. The auction is a professionally run and a wonderful, fun event. BUT yesterday while I was sitting with my SRF group, meditating in our once a month long meditation, a thought flew into my almost still mind. THE ART AUCTION IS TODAY! ; and I didn't get my painting to them.

Well, that was the end of meditation. I left the group at the next break; hurried home and checked my emails and sure enough I had missed the auction. I emailed Hannah Jarmain, the founder of the organization, the organiser of the auction and a friend. I was mortified. My mantra has been, "My word is my bond" It has to be the fault of Mercury Retrograde. It certainly couldn't be mine.

Hannah got back to me, telling me that my painting had been sold, even though it wasn't there. The tiny picture of it was in the catalogue. A person who knew and loved my work offered the winning bid. Today, when I took the painting to the hotel where the event was held, I was told that several people were looking for my missing painting.

"Activity and Intensity" has a new home today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Waiting for the wax

I have workshops planned and I am out of wax. The wax I used to get in Mexico City is available only in the dark amber and that I don't want. The white wax at the local art store is around $20 a pound, so I ordered wax from the States - that order was December 28. I hope it has arrived in Mexico by now. My charmed life in San Miguel de Allende can be a test of patience.

After the holidays and our show in the gallery, I had to catch up on all the things that are necessary in life; like renewing my hospitalization insurance (free) and getting a new drivers' license; that turned out to be a 3 day project. I will spare you the details.

I am getting inspired to get working in the studio, but in the meantime, I am working on art marketing for my online galleries and more.



Every morning, I go to our upstairs 360 degree room to practice yoga, Qi Gong and meditate. Yesterday was a chilly and cloudy morning and then the sun burst through the dense clouds for a few minutes and I stopped my yoga and grabbed my iPad to capture these photos.

I feel so blessed.